Audie Murphy’s Colt revolver is one of many firearm stars at Milestone March 23-24

Colt .45 Single Action Army revolver owned by WWII hero and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, estimated at $50,000-$100,000 at Milestone.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Milestone‘s Premier Firearms two-day sale on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 features 1,174 weapons from World War II, the Civil War, and the rough-and-tumble era when Texas Rangers chased bank robbers on horseback. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Day One’s top lot is a Colt .45 long cartridge single-action Army revolver that was owned by World War II hero Audie Murphy. The son of Texas sharecroppers, Murphy tried unsuccessfully to join the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, but was rejected for being underweight. Eventually, he was accepted into the Army when he was barely 17 years old. Not only did he go on to become the most decorated combat soldier of the Second World War but also one of the most highly decorated soldiers in U.S. history. At age 19, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for singlehandedly holding off a company of German soldiers at the Colmar Pocket in France, then leading a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition. He would later star in many Hollywood Westerns. Murphy’s Colt revolver is one of only 244 such guns assembled in 1947-1948 under the direct supervision of Harry St. John, whose personal stamp F appears at the rear of the trigger guard. The gun was shipped in 1958 to Murphy’s home address. It comes to auction together with a 1989 Colt archival letter signed by Colt Historian Emeritus M. S. Huber, and carries a $50,000-$100,000 estimate.

This 1908 single-action Army revolver is highly prized for its gorgeous overall artistry by Colt Master Engraver Cuno A. Helfricht. It features steer-head relief-carved grips with silver pony medallions and gold-plating on the cylinder, hammer, trigger guard, and backstrap. All of these significant details are confirmed by a Colt archival letter signed by Colt Historian Emeritus M. S. Huber, which accompanies the firearm. It is estimated at $30,000-$50,000.

Perhaps no other firearm in the sale witnessed as much action as the 1912 Colt .41 caliber double-action Army Special revolver that belonged to legendary Texas Ranger Captain Manuel T. ‘Lone Wolf’ Gonzaullas (1891-1977), who is enshrined in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. Formerly a Mexican Army major and U.S. Treasury Department special agent, Spanish-born Gonzaullas became a Ranger in 1920. He was as tough as they come, enforcing the law in Texas oilfields and boomtowns and all along the Texas-Mexico border. The Colt’s backstrap was engraved – likely at the Colt factory – with Gonzaullas’ name and the words TEXAS RANGER. It is estimated at $7,500-$15,000.

Many Confederate States of America army members had to supply their own firearms. Lieutenant A. S. Matteson of Arkansas chose an English Tranter .44-caliber double-action revolver made circa 1856-1857. The cap-and-ball revolver has markings that appear to say Wilkerson London and Thomas Griswold & Co. New Orleans. The piece is accompanied by an actual antique photo of Matteson, and is estimated at $25,000-$35,000.

A 1944 Rolex gold watch ordered by an American POW and actually delivered to him at the stalag where he was imprisoned is estimated at $7,500-$15,000. Rolex serial number 309040 was factory-shipped from Rolex in Switzerland to B-25 bombardier 2nd Lt. Benjamin Elms at Stalag Luft 3, where he was allowed to keep and wear the watch his father in Texas had paid for. Interestingly, Elms and fellow inmates would later inspire the hit 1960s TV series Hogan’s Heroes. The watch is in running order and is accompanied by extensive original Rolex documentation confirming shipment to the stalag in Hammelburg, Germany, including a receipt actually stamped by the stalag. A remarkable and historically important timepiece, it is estimated at $7,500-$15,000.

Winchester 1876 Deluxe ‘1 of 1000’ reigned supreme at Morphy’s Friedrich collection sale

Winchester 1876 Deluxe, designated “1 of 1000," $280,000 ($358,400 with buyer’s premium) at Morphy Auctions.

DENVER, Penn. — An incredibly rare Winchester 1876 Deluxe, built in 1876, numbered 724 and designated ‘1 of 1000’ for its exceptional accuracy and build quality, achieved top dollar at Morphy Auctions October 25 as part of the Paul Friedrich collection. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

‘1 of 1000’ Winchesters simply never come up at auction, and particularly not in this condition. Inscribed One Of One Thousand at the factory, the rifle hammered for $280,000 and sold for $358,400 with buyer’s premium.

Built in 1892, a factory-engraved Colt Sheriff’s Model single-action revolver shipped to the Dunlay & Geisler gun store in Houston, Texas was another top earner. D&G was a top Colt dealer during the period, ordering numerous guns for use by local law enforcement in Texas. Estimated at $100,000-$150,000, the Colt hammered at $190,000, or $243,200 with buyer’s premium.

Douglas Sheldon is a Colt .38 ‘automatic pistol’ expert, having literally written the definitive book on the subject. According to his examination of Colt production records, only 23 prewar Super Match .38s were made with factory engraving, and of those, only seven were blued and shipped with pearls. This example was known to bidders for its rarity, and it rose steadily from an opener of $50,000 to land at $120,000, or $153,600 with buyer’s premium.

This Colt .45 with a 5.5in barrel and simply outstanding factory engraving comes with a who’s-who list of historic gun collectors as previous owners. It hammered for $95,000, or $121,600 with buyer’s premium.

Winchester and Colt firearms from Paul Friedrich collection are sure shots at Morphy Oct. 25

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DENVER, Penn. — To hear his friends tell it, Paul Friedrich (1943-2022) was a true one-of-a-kind collector. Captivated by TV cowboys of the 1950s and stories of the California Gold Rush and Old West, Paul grew into a consummate collector of firearms and historical relics that will come to Morphy Auctions on Wednesday, October 25. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The Friedrich collection includes antique and vintage firearms; Gold Rush and Old West artifacts; and gold jewelry, coins and nuggets. Additionally, the collection features 19th- and early 20th-century antique advertising, gambling items, and many other fascinating curios.

“Paul was everything a collector of historical American objects aspires to be,” said Morphy Auctions President Dan Morphy. “As a buyer, he had uncanny intuition, and he never forgot a single detail about any of the items in his collection. He was one of a kind.”

The sale’s top lot is a Winchester ‘1 of 1000’ 1876 lever-action rifle from the first year of production and marked with the serial number 724. It comes with full provenance and is estimated at $300,000-$500,000.

Friedrich’s fabulous assortment of Colts is led by a factory-engraved .45-caliber Colt Sheriff’s model single action revolver that was shipped in 1892 as a shipment of one to Dunlay & Geisler in Houston, Texas. In excellent condition with the barrel retaining nearly all of its original bluing, it is accompanied by a Colt factory letter, photos and additional literature, and is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.

An exceedingly rare prewar Colt .38 Super Match comes with pearl grips and an adjustable sight, making it literally one of a very few made before the outbreak of World War II. With full documentation on its history, beginning with being shipped in 1935 to Abercrombie & Fitch in New York, the piece is estimated at $75,000-$150,000.
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‘1 of 1000’ Winchester 1st Model 1876 Deluxe, serial number 724, estimated at $300,000-$500,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Sheriff’s model Colt single action Army, estimated at $100,000-$150,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Colt Super Match .38 semiautomatic pistol, estimated at $75,000-$150,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Colt Model 1894 double-action revolver, estimated at $75,000-$125,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Gold nugget weighing 131 grams (4.6 ounces), estimated at $4,000-$8,000 at Morphy Auctions.
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Antique Colts, WWII Lugers featured Oct. 29-30 at Milestone firearms auction

Colt pinched-frame .45-caliber Single-Action Army Revolver manufactured in 1874 and one of a shipment of 15 guns sent to J.P. Moores & Sons (NYC) that year. Accompanied by 1985 letter of documentation from Colt factory historian. NRA Silver Medal winner in 1989. Estimate $40,000-$65,000

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Over the weekend of October 29-30, Milestone Auctions in suburban Cleveland will host an exciting 1,469-lot Premier Collectible Firearms sale featuring the types of antique, military and civilian weapons hobbyists yearn for. As always, there will be excellent examples to suit every pocketbook, with a historical timeline that starts in the pre-Revolutionary War era and advances through every successive conflict of the centuries to follow. Absentee and online bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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